Local soldier spends holidays at home

By Staff
Nathan Strickland
Christmas 2009 was a special time for one local soldier.
Robbie Richardson, a Russellville native and member of the 877th engineering battalion based out of Hamilton, was able to come home from Afghanistan for the holidays.
Richardson headed to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin back in May to train for his one year tour overseas. His battalion left the states in June and headed to the southeastern region of Afghanistan. Richardson said it is good to be home.
Richardson serves as a medic for the 168th company out of Fayette that is made up of about 150 soldiers. Richardson said since he has been overseas, he has gained a lot of knowledge and experience.
Richardson’s company is made up of engineers, whose main purpose is to build buildings, expand runways and push dirt around. The company is currently working on expanding the base they are on to better accommodate the increasing flow of troops that fly in. Richardson’s job is to take care of those soldiers.
Fortunately, Richardson has not had to venture outside the base many times. “Fortunately in my company we haven’t had anyone to get injured. We have had some in our battalion wounded, but not in my company,” he said.
The experiences of Richardson’s first half of duty have been enough to affect him for a lifetime.
He said the time off has been great, but he feels he’s probably needed back.
Richardson said he sees things differently now than ever before.
Richardson plans on being back home in April 2010 and then will wait to see if there is a chance he may have to go back.
Richardson said he is very thankful to everyone who has supported him along the way.
Richardson headed back Friday with his battalion to fight the war in Afghanistan.